LATEST: Wife of murdered Chorley solicitor had previous convictions for domestic violence
A 'violent, abusive and bullying' wife who was today convicted of stabbing her solicitor husband to death had three previous convictions for domestic violence, it can be revealed.
Sharon Edwards, 42, stood emotionless as the jury foreman at Manchester Crown Court announced a unanimous guilty verdict.
Jurors dismissed her argument that her husband David Edwards, 51, had “walked onto” a knife she had taken from him during an argument at their home in Parkers Wood Close, Chorley, in August last year - days after returning from a Las Vegas honeymoon.
They also dismissed her claims that a catalogue of injuries he sustained were to do with his intake of alcohol and self-harming.
Mr Justice William Davis told Sharon Edwards: “The man you killed was a hugely valued member of the community in Chorley and in Lancashire.”
He read out part of a letter sent to Mr Edward’s mother from a Chorley magistrate, which said his tragic loss had affected the whole community.
Addressing the murderer, Mr Davis added: “That is a view widely held and your bullying of him, which ended in his death, has robbed people of a decent man.”
After hearing that Sharon had three previous convictions for domestic violence, including biting and punching an ex-partner, as well as the evidence during the case of injuries suffered by Mr Edwards, the judge continued: “I’m quite sure it wasn’t the first time you’d attacked Mr Edwards.
“You had, over preceding months, assaulted David Edwards on more than one occasion and this deadly attack was the culmination of continuous bullying by you.”
He sentenced her to life imprisonment with a minimum of 20 years before parole would be considered.
Outside court, Mr Edward’s brother Peter thanked the jury, the police, friends and family, and those who had given evidence in the case.
He said the family could now “focus on remembering David’s life”.
He said: “This has highlighted the impact domestic violence can have and how difficult it can be for victims to speak out.
“This is particularly the case for male victims who are afraid that speaking out will be seen as a sign of weakness.
“We will all miss David very much.”
Detective chief inspector Dean Holden said the sentence was “very good” and again reflected that Mr Edwards has been a “very valued” criminal lawyer and member of the community.
He said: “Sharon Edwards subjected David Edwards to months of abuse.
“She is a violent, abusive, bullying woman.
“She’s a liar, she’s manipulated people and tried to manipulate people. She’s been belligerent all the way through.
“Domestic abuse knows no boundaries- male, female, professional people like David was.”
He added: “Anybody who suffers any level of domestic abuse can feel they can report the matter to the police or many other agencies who can help.”
Rob Jansen of the Crown Prosecution Service said: “Sharon Edwards behaved in a domineering and possessive way with her husband and seemed to resent any of his past or even present friends, family or colleagues.
“She behaved as though she expected him to devote his entire attention and time to her and made an overbearing nuisance of herself at his work.
“She had been violent against Mr Edwards from early in their relationship but it escalated as time went on.
“There is no evidence that he ever retaliated physically to her assaults. When he did seek help from professionals for his injuries, she often pretended to genuinely care for him.
“Other times she clearly stayed with him to stop him telling people what had really happened.”
He added: “Her final claims that he had walked into the knife that killed him have clearly been rejected by the jury.
“Domestic abuse can come in all sorts of guises and this case is another in the sad catalogue of violent repressive relationships that seem to rob the victim of their power or ability to stop the violence.”
More to follow from court on this story later.